There are some people who deliberately wear an ill-fitting suit. A comedian, trying to create a certain persona, is an obvious example. Occasionally, for whatever reason, someone will wear an ill-fitting suit to create a certain impression in the minds of those they are dealing with. Mostly, though, an ill-fitting suit just looks bad!
Taking Stock Of Your Suit
Suits are often an excellent expression of quality. They are a great choice for convenience in business wear. You’ll want your suits to provide dependability of impression each time you wear them. So, from top to toe, let’s take a look at the places where it’s important to check that your choice of suit is going to fit well.
• The shoulders of your suit should simply fit the width of your shoulder. This allows it to hang well (like from a quality hanger) and avoids the appearance of any unsightly divots or wrinkles. If you choose a suit wider than your shoulders, it will be ill-fitting from the get-go. A little padding can be of help if you have slightly rounded shoulders. Obviously, the armholes should not cut into your armpit. Your suit collar should rest easily against that of your shirt.
• Fasten the top or middle button of the suit you are trying on. Slip your hand in under the lapels; it should fit easily. Change to a fist and it should pull slightly at the button you have fastened. This is a good test, although slight variations can be okay to suit your personal style. Obviously, any tightness or constriction suggests a fitting problem.
• The placement of buttons on your jacket also provides a good checkpoint. The middle button of a three-piece, or top button of a two-piece should be above your navel.
• Overall jacket and sleeve length: starting with the sleeves, they should reach that point where the base of your thumb becomes the start of your wrist. Should you always wear a watch, then a quality tailor would make a minor adjustment for this, including your shirt cuffs as well. Generally, though, around a half-inch of cuff – maybe slightly less – should be visible. In terms of suit length, place your arms by your sides. Your knuckles should be roughly level with the bottom of the jacket; which also places it around the middle of your crotch.
• The length of your pants might best show just a touch of sock; although one inch of break has long been seen as a classic fit. Around the waist, they should fit without the need for a belt; from there and around the rear, they should feel neither saggy nor tight.
A quick final tip on a subject we are frequently asked about: the fastening of suit buttons. For a two-piece, button the top one but not the bottom. For a three-piece, button the middle one, perhaps the top, too, but never the bottom button. In terms of style and impression, this just works best!